Straddling Three Worlds: Stress, Culture and Adaptation in South Asian Couples
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Anecdotal evidences (e.g. the increase of South Asian marriage counseling services, newspaper articles, etc.) suggest that the divorce rate of South Asian individuals in Canada is increasing. Traditionally, Indian culture has and still to an extent, values collectivism. Alongside this, marriage appears to be evolving from being essentially the union of two families, to becoming the union of two individuals, with the gradual movement toward a nuclear family, dual earners and shared household duties, causing stress in couples. This marital stress may be compounded by other factors such as acculturation for new immigrants, role differentiation and expectations for both new immigrants and their Canadian born and acculturated children. The aim of this study is to understand the reasons for marital stress and distress and the strategies couples have used to overcome this distress. A qualitative case study methodology was used to explore and document the experiences of four married couples. The discussion of the findings are framed according to the concepts: Marriage, Acculturation process, Division of Roles and Communication within the marital relationship.
KeywordsSouth Asian Marriage Roles Acculturation Stress
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